Police yesterday deployed heavily to hold off an angry crowd that demanded to lynch a woman, son and daughters as they cut through a concrete slab to retrieve the body of former Monitor Publications Ltd employee, who was kidnapped, killed, and dumped in a pit-latrine.
Abel Katende’s decomposing body, which was chopped to pieces and bundled into a sack, was retrieved from Lutete A zone, Kasangati Town Council, in Wakiso District, by police’s Flying Squad Unit, and Fire and Emergency Brigade.
The police said Katende’s wife Janet Namugenyi, his son Gideon, 21,and daughters Charity, 19, and Barbra, 22, confessed they had committed the offence.
Police’s Flying Squad commander Herbert Muhangi, and Kampala Metropolitan CID commander Johnson Olal alongside six scene of crime officers, arrested the suspects who helped them locate and reconstruct the crime scene.
The police then used power saws and drilling machines to cut through the concrete pit-latrine slab to get to Katende’s remains piled in a sack.
It was only after four long hours that the Flying Squad and fire brigade officers managed to shutter the concrete slab and remove the body from the pit-latrine as the residents demanded to lynch suspects.
As the crowd swelled, the police summoned more officers from the Kasangati police division, and Kanyanya and Kyebando police stations.
Deputy police spokesperson Patrick Onyango said the suspects confessed they struck Katende on the head with a blunt object and he collapsed dead in his house at Buswa Manzwe in Masuulita, Wakiso District.
Police said the woman claimed Katende had confiscated the title for a piece of land they bought together.
“We have opened charges of kidnap and murder against the suspects and we are hunting others who are still at large,” Mr Onyango said.
Katende went missing on April 27 after he was kidnapped from his second home in Buswa Manzwe.
He had reportedly confided in a neighbour that his wife and some children were fighting him over the land on which his second home sits.
Mr Andrew Nkubi, the deceased’s second born, said his father lived with their eight-year-old step sister.
He said he received a distress call from a neighbour that his father had been kidnapped by people who included his mother and siblings.
“The neighbour told me that my mother’s car was in the compound with three of my siblings. He also told me that the young girl living with my father had seen my mother and other people bundling him into a car as he cried for mercy,” Mr Nkubi said.
Mr Nkubi said he then called his mother and his young brother Gideon, but they all denied knowledge of the whereabouts of his father.
He then called the neighbour and asked to him to start a search for his father as he hurriedly left his workplace to join them.
Mr Nkubi said he arrived at his father’s home at about 9.30pm and was given an account of events that led to his father’s disappearance.
Case of missing person
Since the young girl insisted she had seen her step-mother and other people kidnaping the father, Mr Nkubi again called his mother and siblings.
“My young brother insisted he did not know where our father had gone. My mother this time told me she had taken him to the clinic because he was unwell,” he said.
Mr Nkubi said his mother did not name the clinic, but he became suspicious and reported a case of a missing person at Masuulita Police Station, but received no help for four days.
He said he then contacted the Flying Squad and narrated how his father’s neighbours had singled out his mother and three siblings.
The Flying Squad operatives then arrested the trio, with the youngest revealing how they had dumped her father’s body in a pit-latrine behind some family rentals under construction in Kasangati.
“I am shocked and I can’t believe that my father was killed by our family members. There were misunderstandings like in any other family, but I never thought it could end like this,” Mr Nkubi said.
Mr Godfrey Kasozi, the Lutete A chairman, said Katende’s family had been having wrangles but they could not intervene because his wife and children were violent. “Mr Katende never greeted us. He could just bypass us in his car. His wife was feared because she is very violent and the children behaved the same,” he said.
Another neighbour, Ms Ruth Ampiire, said Katende’s family was untouchable and abusive while Mr James Kato, who has lived in area for 18 years, said Katende’s wife once threatened to evict him.
The police said they have arrested two other men reportedly hired by the wife to kill Katende.